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Let’s dress up my favorite chocolate cookie dough and make these peppermint frosted chocolate cookies. You’ll love these Christmas cookies because they’re fudge-like and rich with extra soft centers and chewy edges. The peppermint frosting is velvet smooth and a pleasant crunch from crushed candy canes makes a festive finishing touch!

chocolate peppermint Christmas cookies with peppermint frosting

This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I work on a handful of new Christmas cookie recipes and publish the 10 best ones for readers to enjoy! You can browse dozens of recipes on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page.


Tell Me About These Peppermint Frosted Chocolate Cookies

  • Flavor: If you love the combination of mint and chocolate, don’t miss out on this cookie recipe. We use peppermint extract in both the cookie dough and frosting, an ingredient I always prefer over regular mint extract (which can sometimes taste like toothpaste). A careful ratio of unsweetened cocoa powder, flour, and butter gives us fudgy cookies that border the line of homemade brownies. These are pretty much brownie cookies without the need for melted chocolate in the dough.
  • Texture: Soft-baked, thick, and chewy. All good stuff!
  • Ease & Time: This is a basic chocolate cookie dough without any specialty ingredients. Most of the ingredients are repeated in the frosting, too. Cocoa powder makes this cookie dough extra sticky, so chilling the cookie dough is imperative. Set aside 3 hours to chill or you can prepare the dough the night before to get a jumpstart on cookie baking the next day.
thick peppermint chocolate cookies broken in half and stacked

Your Go-To Chocolate Cookie Recipe

If you’ve made a few of my chocolate cookie recipes before, this dough will look familiar. The reason I hardly stray from it is because this cookie recipe works and I don’t find testing alternate versions necessary. The soft cookies are in-your-face chocolate, so it’s my gold standard chocolate dough. We use it for:

Notes: I use a few extra grams of cocoa powder in today’s dough which brings the amount up to 2/3 cup– this works like a charm. The chocolate crinkle cookies can over-spread as a result of the sugar coating, so I leave out the milk in that version.

If you’re looking for cookie cutter style chocolate cookies, here are my chocolate sugar cookies.

chocolate peppermint cookie dough in glass bowl

Success Tips for Peppermint Frosted Chocolate Cookies

  • Chilling the dough: Make the cookie dough using the printable recipe below. Cocoa powder is a very light, fine powder so it doesn’t bulk up cookie dough like all-purpose flour. (It’s also very drying.) As a result, this chocolate cookie dough is sticky. It’s sticky & soft before chilling it in the refrigerator and even though it’s still a bit sticky after chilling, it’s much easier to handle. Chilling dough also guarantees thicker cookies. See my 10 tips for how to prevent cookies from spreading.
  • Portioning the dough: Each dough ball should be a heaping Tablespoon, so use a cookie scoop or Tablespoon measure to scoop the dough. Give the cookies a light roll in your hands and have a kitchen towel or paper towel nearby. I usually wipe my hands clean after every few cookie dough balls because clean hands make rolling easier.
  • Baking tip: Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. If the cookies aren’t really spreading by minute 9, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven for a couple more minutes.
chocolate cookie dough balls on baking sheet lined with Silpat

chocolate peppermint cookies arranged on wire cooling rack

As the cookies cool, make your frosting.

Peppermint Frosting

The creamy frosting on top is essentially vanilla buttercream with the addition of peppermint extract. I’ve never paired this chocolate cookie dough with buttercream before and even though it sounds like an obvious match, I wasn’t expecting it to be *this* good. The cookies are pretty rich, so they don’t need a heavy pile of frosting. The buttercream recipe makes just enough for a simple swipe of frosting on each cookie. Feel free to pipe it on top, but I just use a knife or small icing spatula.

To garnish the cookies, you can use:

  • Crushed Candy Canes
  • Chopped Andes Mints
  • Sprinkles
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
peppermint frosting in bowl and spread on chocolate cookies

peppermint frosted chocolate cookies on red plate

Sally's Cookie Palooza

This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I publish 10 new cookie recipes in a row. It’s the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Browse dozens of Christmas cookie recipes over on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page including:

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thick peppermint chocolate cookies broken in half and stacked

Peppermint Frosted Chocolate Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These peppermint frosted chocolate cookies combine a rich and fudgy chocolate cookie with smooth and creamy peppermint frosting. The dough requires 3 hours of chilling in the refrigerator, so make sure you set aside enough time.


Ingredients

Scale

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (115gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100ggranulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup (125gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2/3 cup (55g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk (any kind, dairy or non)
  • 1 cup (180g) mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

Peppermint Buttercream & Topping

  • 1/2 cup (115gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (270g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, or more to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup (50g) crushed candy canes (about 34 large candy canes)

Instructions

  1. Make the cookies: In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. On high speed, beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour into the wet ingredients. Beat on low until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the milk, then the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this sticky cookie dough.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the chilled cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Scoop and roll dough, 1 heaping Tablespoon of dough each, into balls. Arrange 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheets. The cookie dough is sticky, so don’t be afraid to wipe hands clean after every few balls of dough you shape.
  6. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the edges appear set and the centers still look soft. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. The cookies will slightly deflate as they cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  7. Make the buttercream: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream/milk, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes. Taste. Beat in a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. I usually add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon. And, if desired, beat in another drop of peppermint extract.
  8. Frost the cookies: Top each cookie with frosting. Garnish frosting with crushed candy canes. Frosting doesn’t dry completely, but will set after several hours. Carefully stacking frosted cookies is fine after that.
  9. Cover and store cookies at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (step 2). Baked cookies with or without frosting freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, and then bring to room temperature before enjoying. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Larger Batch: The recipe is easy to double in 1 mixing bowl without overwhelming your mixer. Simply double all of the cookie dough and frosting ingredients. Dough chill time remains the same.
  3. Natural Cocoa Powder: Do you know the difference between natural cocoa powder and dutch-process cocoa powder? Use natural in this dough.

Keywords: peppermint frosted chocolate cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I just made these wonderful cookies for the 2nd time. This time I tinted the icing green and decorated them for St Patrick’s Day.

  2. These are wonderful, easy cookies to make. I added another measure of peppermint extract to the dough out of personal preference, & they were delicious. Thank you for a great recipe!

  3. Perfection! The balance of sweet and richness is incredible. My husband, who doesn’t typically like chocolatey desserts, even loves this recipe.

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